The elected members of Edenderry Town Council and Offaly County Council met with Deputy Barry Cowen TD in relation to Ofalia House on Monday, February 24.
This meeting was organised by the members of Edenderry Town Council in order to get the support from the area Councilors and local TDs in relation to concerns regarding the lack of funding for proposed works required at Ofalia House following a recent HIQA report.
According to the Town Council, HIQA have stated the need for additional en suite bathrooms as part of upgrade works at Ofalia House.
The need for reassurance for the families of those residing in Ofalia House and those people using the services provided there such as respite and day care facilities; together with the need for certainty about the future of Ofalia House was stressed to Deputy Cowen by the members present. The need for a development plan for the future of Ofalia House was also requested.
The members expressed fears that the capacity for beds will be reduced further by the HSE. Ofalia House has a 47 bed capacity however 27 people currently reside here together with one respite bed and one palliative care bed available.
The embargo on recruiting staff within the public sector was also discussed as it is felt that this is also creating difficulties within the service.
Deputy Cowen stated that he shares the fears and concerns of the community in relation to this matter. He agreed to raise a parliamentary question in the Dáil in relation to same in order to seek clarification from Minister Reilly into the funding required for this work. He also agreed to seek a commitment to be given in relation to the long term future of Ofalia House.